read at - 247 Wall Street:
"Staples (SPLS) is where small businesses go to buy inexpensive office supplies. The US Census Bureau says there are just over 5.9 million “employer firms” in the US. About 3.8 million of those have fewer than 10 employees. When Staples reported its most recent quarter early in December, the company said “the worsening economy both in the U.S. and Europe have led both Staples’ business and retail customers to postpone purchases that are deemed not urgent..”
With 2,000 stores worldwide, Staples is a near-perfect proxy for small business spending. The day the firm says it expects a rebound in sales and earnings is the day economists will believe that the millions of companies no one sees or talks about are contributing to improving GDP."